The IRS issued a consumer alert Thursday providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS. These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don't answer, they often leave an urgent callback request. Here are five things the scammers often DO but the IRS will NOT DO: call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice; demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes such as a prepaid debit card; ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone and threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying. If you get one of these calls, and think you may owe money, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 but if you don't owe any taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1 800 366 4484.
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